USC Daily Trojan Vol. 127, # 55
April 10, 1996

Three Sheets to the Wind

Jeff Martin and the rest of his band Idaho sing songs vaguely reminiscent of Toad the Wet Sprocket and others, meaning that it might as well be labeled "dream pop" because it just seems to float in midair without ever committing to anything tangible.

Three Sheets to the Wind is well-crafted, well-produced, well-everything. But there's not much to really grab hold to here. "Stare at the Sky" illustrates this as well as any song on the album. It's a lovely melody, and Martin's vocals do the job of presenting the singer as a hopeless romantic with lines like There's nothing I can do / I need to feel I could breathe you someday. But though this is one of the album's best tunes, it's almost a little too dreamy and it never really tears you apart the way a strong love song can.

"No Ones Watching," "Get You Back, "If You Dare"--these are songs positioning the protagonists in heated confessionals with their ex's. It's a tricky genre because you've got to connect with your listener so that your own pain feels real to the outside world. If not, it just comes off as whimpering.

Idaho is a competent enough band not to let that happen. But a little more energy wouldn't have hurt. With Three Sheets to the Wind, it's a little too much of the same old song. B

Tim Grierson / Staff Writer
(Idaho will perform with Low at the Troubadour on Thursday)

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